cooking up support

Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons stir up support for women in downtown Houston march

Padma Lakshmi + Gail Simmons stir up support in downtown Houston march

Padma Lakshmi Gail Simmons
Padma and Gail are marching for women. Photo courtesy of Bravo

Two celebrity Houston visitors are lending their considerable name power to a local cause. Top Chef hosts Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons — both in town to film the wildly popular reality TV show — will participate in the Houston Women’s March on Saturday, October 2, organizers announced.

The march, which is the brainchild of local nonpartisan nonprofit Houston Women March On, will begin at Discovery Green (1500 McKinney St.), at 9 am and end at City Hall (901 Bagby St.). The trek to Houston City Hall from Discovery Green is approximately 0.8 miles long; masking, social distancing, and other safety measures will be encouraged.

Interested marchers can gather downtown at Discovery Green starting at 7 am.

Lakshmi and Simmons will be joined by other notable names including Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and executive director of the George Floyd Foundation Shareeduh Tate.

Activist and author Sabrina Greenlee will emcee the event, which will also include voter registration stations, musical performances, and more, according to a press release.

This event is intended to raise awareness and serve as a peaceful protest for what  Houston Women March On describes in a statement as “dire current events in Texas, including Senate Bill 8, which is tantamount to an unconstitutional ban on abortion; recently passed voter suppression laws; redistricting measures; discriminatory proposals harming the trans community; the inhumane treatment of immigrants along the border and throughout the state; attacks on vulnerable communities; and much more.”

That Lakshmi is involved shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed her career. The outspoken author, producer, and activist has long championed women’s causes.

“I was proud to attend the first Women’s March in DC in 2017,” said Lakshmi in a statement. “Four years later, we still have so much to achieve. Our reproductive rights are under attack, and I stand with Planned Parenthood and the ACLU and those who demand to be heard.”

Simmons echoes her Top Chef co-host in a statement, noting: “It’s imperative at this critical moment in history that we make our voices heard. Many women before us worked to secure our rights, our equality, and our bodily autonomy. It is incumbent upon us to fight for and defend these basic human rights from anyone who tries to take them away, for ourselves and our children.”

Those interested in more information can visit the organization’s official site